Betty Sue Pratt  (Obituary) 

Published: 12/27/2018 12:11:46 PM
Modified: 12/27/2018 12:11:57 PM

Betty-Sue (Ballou) Pratt, of 39 Washington Ave, So. Athol, passed away peacefully at home on Christmas day.

She was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on March 25, 1932, to Clarence Ernest (C.E.) Ballou, I., and Audrey (Herndon) Ballou. One of four children, at age nine, she was orphaned, and sent to live with her Uncle Cecil and Aunt Mary (Richards) Ballou, at the Ballou Farm in Orange, Massachusetts. She graduated from Orange High School in 1951, and was Senior Class Secretary. She then attended the Burbank of Nursing in Fitchburg, Mass, graduating in 1954. She met her future husband George Pratt, of Athol, through mutual friends, on the Common, in North New Salem, and was married to him in the Orange Congregational Church, in 1954. They were together until his passing, in 1996.

Betty's nursing career spanned many decades and many jobs within her chosen profession. She worked at Athol Memorial Hospital, served as a school nurse in the local area, was a camp nurse at Morgan Memorial Fresh Air Camp, and was a Pioneer, as one of the first visiting nurses in the Quabbin Valley area, covering seven territories, in the 1970's. Finally, she served as Assistant Administrator at the Quabbin Valley Nursing Home, before retiring.

During her retirement, she was active in the Swift River Valley Historical Society, serving as its president for a number of terms, and she painstakingly digitized and electronically restored hundreds of photos and documents, in an effort to preserve and share the legacy of the Swift River Valley.

Throughout her life she helped many people, and was a devoted wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She enjoyed gardening, and she traveled across the United States and spent an enjoyable month abroad, in Great Britain, in 1994, with her sister, Grace Ballou.

She was predeceased by her husband of 42 years George, her son, Thomas Pratt, her brother John Wood Ballou, a sister, Grace Ballou, and grandson, John Murphy.

She is survived by her daughter, Susan Murphy (Patrick) of Athol, Linda Brunelle (Stan), of Springfield, Vermont, son John Pratt, of Lubbock, Texas, and brother, C.E. Ballou, II. She is also survived by her adoptive siblings, Darrell Ballou, of Maine, Elizabeth 'Zib" (Ballou) Pierce, and Richard Ballou, both of Orange, Mass. Additionally, she is survived by seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

There are no calling hours.

A service will be held at the South Athol United Methodist Church, 65 Morgan Avenue, Athol, on Sunday, December 30, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

She will be reunited with her husband at a private internment, at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery, in Winchendon, MA, following the church service.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the South Athol United Methodist Church, c/o Zane Dubour, 3800 South Athol Road, Athol, MA 01331.

Witty's Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange, is directing the arrangements.

You may offer your sympathy online at

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